ResearchPad - flower-anatomy https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Imaging dataset of fresh hydrous plants obtained by field-emission scanning electron microscopy conducted using a protective NanoSuit]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7644 Although scanning electron microscopy (SEM) can generate high-resolution images of nanosized objects, it requires a high vacuum to do so, which precludes direct observations of living organisms and often produces unwanted structural changes. It has previously been reported that a simple surface modification gives rise to a nanoscale layer, termed the “NanoSuit”, which can keep small animals alive under the high vacuum required for field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). We have previously applied this technique to plants, and successfully observed healthy petals in a fully hydrated state using SEM. The flower petals protected with the NanoSuit appeared intact, although we still lack a fundamental understanding of the images of other plants observed using FE-SEM. This report presents and evaluates a rich set of images, acquired using the NanoSuit, for a taxonomically diverse set of plant species. This dataset of images allows the surface features of various plants to be analyzed and thus provides a further complementary morphological profile. Image data can be accessed and viewed through Figshare (https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4446026.v1).

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<![CDATA[Differential accumulation of pelargonidin glycosides in petals at three different developmental stages of the orange-flowered gentian (Gentiana lutea L. var. aurantiaca)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b2619d5eed0c484289307

Corolla color in Gentiana lutea L. exhibits a yellow/orange variation. We previously demonstrated that the orange petal color of G. lutea L. var. aurantiaca is predominantly caused by newly synthesized pelargonidin glycosides that confer a reddish hue to the yellow background color, derived from the carotenoids. However, the anthocyanin molecules of these pelargonidin glycosides are not yet fully identified and characterized. Here, we investigated the regulation, content and type of anthocyanins determining the petal coloration of the orange-flowered G. lutea L. var. aurantiaca. Anthocyanins from the petals of G. lutea L. var. aurantiaca were characterized and quantified by HPLC-ESI-MS/MS (High-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry) coupled with a diode array detector in flowers at three different stages of development (S1, S3 and S5). Eleven pelargonidin derivatives were identified in the petals of G. lutea L. var. aurantiaca for the first time, but quantitative and qualitative differences were observed at each developmental stage. The highest levels of these pelargonidin derivatives were reached at the fully open flower stage (S5) where all anthocyanins were detected. In contrast, not all the anthocyanins were detected at the budlet stage (S1) and mature bud stage (S3) and those corresponded to more complex pelargonidin derivatives. The major pelargonidin derivatives found at all the stages were pelargonidin 3-O-glucoside, pelargonidin 3,5-O-diglucoside and pelargonidin 3-O-rutinoside. Furthermore, the expression of DFR (dihydroflavonol 4-reductase), ANS (anthocyanidin synthase), 3GT (UDP-glucose:flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase), 5GT (UDP-glucose:flavonoid 5-O-glucosyltransferase) and 5AT (anthocyanin 5-aromatic acyltransferase) genes was analyzed in the petals of three developmental stages, showing that the expression level of DFR, ANS and 3GT parallels the accumulation of the pelargonidin glucosides. Overall, this study enhances the knowledge of the biochemical basis of flower coloration in Gentiana species, and lays a foundation for breeding of flower color and genetic variation studies on Gentiana varieties.

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<![CDATA[Gene duplication and relaxation from selective constraints of GCYC genes correlated with various floral symmetry patterns in Asiatic Gesneriaceae tribe Trichosporeae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52ded5eed0c4842bd181

Floral bilateral symmetry is one of the most important acquisitions in flower shape evolution in angiosperms. Members of Gesneriaceae possess predominantly zygomorphic flowers yet natural reversal to actinomorphy have independently evolved multiple times. The development of floral bilateral symmetry relies greatly on the gene CYCLOIDEA (CYC). Our reconstructed GCYC phylogeny indicated at least five GCYC duplication events occurred over the evolutionary history of Gesneriaceae. However, the patterns of GCYC expression following the duplications and the role of natural selection on GCYC copies in relation to floral symmetry remained largely unstudied. The Asiatic tribe Trichosporeae contains most reversals to actinomorphy. We thus investigated shifts in GCYC gene expression among selected zygomorphic species (Hemiboea bicornuta and Lysionotus pauciflorus) and species with reversals to actinomorphy (Conandron ramondioides) by RT-PCR. In the actinomorphic C. ramondioides, none of the three copies of GCYC was found expressed in petals implying that the reversal was a loss-of-function event. On the other hand, both zygomorphic species retained one GCYC1 copy that was expressed in the dorsal petals but each species utilized a different copy (GCYC1C for H. bicornuta and GCYC1D for L. pauciflorus). Together with previously published data, it appeared that GCYC1C and GCYC1D copies diversified their expression in a distinct species-specific pattern. To detect whether the selection signal (ω) changed before and after the duplication of GCYC1 in Asiatic Trichosporeae, we reconstructed a GCYC phylogeny using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference algorithms and examined selection signals using PAML. The PAML analysis detected relaxation from selection right after the GCYC1 duplication (ωpre-duplication = 0.2819, ωpost-duplication = 0.3985) among Asiatic Trichosporeae species. We propose that the selection relaxation after the GCYC1 duplication created an "evolutionary window of flexibility" in which multiple copies were retained with randomly diverged roles for dorsal-specific expressions in association with floral symmetry changes.

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<![CDATA[Short-term synaptic depression can increase the rate of information transfer at a release site]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c366803d5eed0c4841a6dbe

The release of neurotransmitters from synapses obeys complex and stochastic dynamics. Depending on the recent history of synaptic activation, many synapses depress the probability of releasing more neurotransmitter, which is known as synaptic depression. Our understanding of how synaptic depression affects the information efficacy, however, is limited. Here we propose a mathematically tractable model of both synchronous spike-evoked release and asynchronous release that permits us to quantify the information conveyed by a synapse. The model transits between discrete states of a communication channel, with the present state depending on many past time steps, emulating the gradual depression and exponential recovery of the synapse. Asynchronous and spontaneous releases play a critical role in shaping the information efficacy of the synapse. We prove that depression can enhance both the information rate and the information rate per unit energy expended, provided that synchronous spike-evoked release depresses less (or recovers faster) than asynchronous release. Furthermore, we explore the theoretical implications of short-term synaptic depression adapting on longer time scales, as part of the phenomenon of metaplasticity. In particular, we show that a synapse can adjust its energy expenditure by changing the dynamics of short-term synaptic depression without affecting the net information conveyed by each successful release. Moreover, the optimal input spike rate is independent of the amplitude or time constant of synaptic depression. We analyze the information efficacy of three types of synapses for which the short-term dynamics of both synchronous and asynchronous release have been experimentally measured. In hippocampal autaptic synapses, the persistence of asynchronous release during depression cannot compensate for the reduction of synchronous release, so that the rate of information transmission declines with synaptic depression. In the calyx of Held, the information rate per release remains constant despite large variations in the measured asynchronous release rate. Lastly, we show that dopamine, by controlling asynchronous release in corticostriatal synapses, increases the synaptic information efficacy in nucleus accumbens.

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<![CDATA[Detection of Burkholderia in the seeds of Psychotria punctata (Rubiaceae) – Microscopic evidence for vertical transmission in the leaf nodule symbiosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1d5b8cd5eed0c4846ebec0

Background and aims

The bacterial leaf nodule symbiosis is a close interaction between endophytes and their plant hosts, mainly within the coffee family. The interaction between Rubiaceae species and Burkholderia bacteria is unique due to its obligate nature, high specificity, and predominantly vertical transmission of the endophytes to the next generation of host plants. This vertical transmission is intriguing since it is the basis for the uniqueness of the symbiosis. However, unequivocal evidence of the location of the endophytes in the seeds is lacking. The aim of this paper is therefore to demonstrate the presence of the host specific endophyte in the seeds of Psychotria punctata and confirm its precise location. In addition, the suggested location of the endophyte in other parts of the host plant is investigated.

Methods

To identify and locate the endophyte in Psychotria punctata, a two-level approach was adopted using both a molecular screening method and fluorescent in situ hybridisation microscopy.

Key results

The endophytes, molecularly identified as Candidatus Burkholderia kirkii, were detected in the leaves, vegetative and flower buds, anthers, gynoecium, embryos, and young twigs. In addition, they were in situ localised in leaves, flowers and shoot apical meristems, and, for the first time, in between the cotyledons of the embryos.

Conclusions

Both independent techniques detected the host specific endophyte in close proximity to the shoot apical meristem of the embryo, which confirms for the first time the exact location of the endophytes in the seeds. This study provides reliable proof that the endophytes are maintained throughout the growth and development of the host plant and are transmitted vertically to the offspring.

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<![CDATA[Comparative analysis of the male inflorescence transcriptome profiles of an ms22 mutant of maize]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b6003a7463d7e38dd0d05b9

In modern agricultural production, maize is the most successful crop utilizing heterosis. 712C-ms22 is an important male sterile material in maize. In this study, we performed transcriptome sequencing analysis of the V10 stage of male inflorescence. Through this analysis, 27.63 million raw reads were obtained, and trimming of the raw data revealed 26.63 million clean reads, with an average match rate of 94.64%. Using Tophat software, we matched these clean reads to the maize reference genome. The abundance of 39,622 genes was measured, and 35,399 genes remained after filtering out the non-expressed genes across all the samples. These genes were classified into 19 categories by clusters of orthologous groups of protein annotation. Transcriptome sequencing analysis of the male sterile and fertile 712C-ms22 maize revealed some key DEGs that may be related to metabolic pathways. qRT-PCR analysis validated the gene expression patterns identified by RNA-seq. This analysis revealed some of the essential genes responsible for pollen development and for pollen tube elongation. Our findings provide useful markers of male sterility and new insights into the global mechanisms mediating male sterility in maize.

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<![CDATA[Juncus quartinianus (Juncaceae, sect. Ozophyllum): A Neglected Species from the Horn of Africa and Its Re-Description Based on Morphological SEM Studies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da02ab0ee8fa60b748b4

Juncus quartinianus (Juncaceae sect. Ozophyllum) was described by Richard in 1851 from Ethiopia. Some authors have treated this species as a synonym of J. fontanesii and others as a synonym of J. oxycarpus. Based on morphological analyses of flowers, fruit and seeds, we propose to restore J. quartinianus as a distinct species from both these taxa. Its detailed re-description and an identification key to the morphologically similar species of Juncus sect. Ozophyllum are provided.

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<![CDATA[Clinical Nomograms to Predict Stone-Free Rates after Shock-Wave Lithotripsy: Development and Internal-Validation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db12ab0ee8fa60bcc596

Purpose

Shock-wave lithotripsy (SWL) is accepted as the first line treatment modality for uncomplicated upper urinary tract stones; however, validated prediction models with regards to stone-free rates (SFRs) are still needed. We aimed to develop nomograms predicting SFRs after the first and within the third session of SWL. Computed tomography (CT) information was also modeled for constructing nomograms.

Materials and Methods

From March 2006 to December 2013, 3028 patients were treated with SWL for ureter and renal stones at our three tertiary institutions. Four cohorts were constructed: Total-development, Total-validation, CT-development, and CT-validation cohorts. The nomograms were developed using multivariate logistic regression models with selected significant variables in a univariate logistic regression model. A C-index was used to assess the discrimination accuracy of nomograms and calibration plots were used to analyze the consistency of prediction.

Results

The SFR, after the first and within the third session, was 48.3% and 68.8%, respectively. Significant variables were sex, stone location, stone number, and maximal stone diameter in the Total-development cohort, and mean Hounsfield unit (HU) and grade of hydronephrosis (HN) were additional parameters in the CT-development cohort. The C-indices were 0.712 and 0.723 for after the first and within the third session of SWL in the Total-development cohort, and 0.755 and 0.756, in the CT-development cohort, respectively. The calibration plots showed good correspondences.

Conclusions

We constructed and validated nomograms to predict SFR after SWL. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first graphical nomograms to be modeled with CT information. These may be useful for patient counseling and treatment decision-making.

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<![CDATA[Segregation and Heritability of Male Sterility in Populations Derived from Progeny of Satsuma Mandarin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db44ab0ee8fa60bd7b35

Male sterility derived from Satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu) has been used in Japanese citrus breeding programs to obtain seedless cultivars, which is a desirable trait for consumers. Male sterility has often been evaluated by anther development or pollen fertility; however, the inheritance and heritability of male sterility derived from Satsuma is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the mode of inheritance and broad-sense heritability of male sterility derived from Satsuma. Initially, we evaluated the total number of pollen grains per anther and apparent pollen fertility, as indicated by lactophenol blue staining, in 15 citrus cultivars and selections to understand the male sterility of Satsuma. The results indicated that male sterility was primarily caused by decreased number of pollen grains per anther in progeny of Satsuma. We also evaluated these traits in three F1 populations (hyuganatsu × ‘Okitsu No. 56’, ‘Okitsu No. 46’ × ‘Okitsu No. 56’ and ‘Okitsu No. 46’ × ‘Kara’), of which the parents are derived from Satsuma. Individuals in these populations showed strong segregation for number of pollen grains per anther. The apparent fertility of pollen also showed segregation but was almost constant at 70%–90%. The estimated broad-sense heritability for the number of pollen grains per anther was as high as 0.898 in the ‘Okitsu No. 46’ × ‘Okitsu No. 56’ and ‘Okitsu No. 46’ × ‘Kara’ populations. These results indicated that the number of pollen grains per anther primarily determined male sterility among progeny of Satsuma, and this trait was inherited by the progeny. Development of DNA markers closely linked to male sterility using the F1 populations of ‘Okitsu No. 46’ × ‘Okitsu No. 56’ and ‘Okitsu No. 46’ × ‘Kara’ is expected to contribute to the breeding of novel seedless citrus cultivars.

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<![CDATA[Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis of the Fossil Crinoid Encrinus liliiformis (Echinodermata: Crinoidea)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db14ab0ee8fa60bccc38

Crinoids, members of the phylum Echinodermata, are passive suspension feeders and catch plankton without producing an active feeding current. Today, the stalked forms are known only from deep water habitats, where flow conditions are rather constant and feeding velocities relatively low. For feeding, they form a characteristic parabolic filtration fan with their arms recurved backwards into the current. The fossil record, in contrast, provides a large number of stalked crinoids that lived in shallow water settings, with more rapidly changing flow velocities and directions compared to the deep sea habitat of extant crinoids. In addition, some of the fossil representatives were possibly not as flexible as today’s crinoids and for those forms alternative feeding positions were assumed. One of these fossil crinoids is Encrinus liliiformis, which lived during the middle Triassic Muschelkalk in Central Europe. The presented project investigates different feeding postures using Computational Fluid Dynamics to analyze flow patterns forming around the crown of E. liliiformis, including experimental validation by Particle Image Velocimetry. The study comprises the analysis of different flow directions, velocities, as well as crown orientations. Results show that inflow from lateral and oral leads to direct transport of plankton particles into the crown and onto the oral surface. With current coming from the “rear” (aboral) side of the crinoid, the conical opening of the crown produces a backward oriented flow in its wake that transports particles into the crown. The results suggest that a conical feeding position may have been less dependent on stable flow conditions compared to the parabolic filtration fan. It is thus assumed that the conical feeding posture of E. liliiformis was suitable for feeding under dynamically changing flow conditions typical for the shallow marine setting of the Upper Muschelkalk.

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<![CDATA[Control of Anther Cell Differentiation by the Small Protein Ligand TPD1 and Its Receptor EMS1 in Arabidopsis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad2ab0ee8fa60bb6c88

A fundamental feature of sexual reproduction in plants and animals is the specification of reproductive cells that conduct meiosis to form gametes, and the associated somatic cells that provide nutrition and developmental cues to ensure successful gamete production. The anther, which is the male reproductive organ in seed plants, produces reproductive microsporocytes (pollen mother cells) and surrounding somatic cells. The microsporocytes yield pollen via meiosis, and the somatic cells, particularly the tapetum, are required for the normal development of pollen. It is not known how the reproductive cells affect the differentiation of these somatic cells, and vice versa. Here, we use molecular genetics, cell biological, and biochemical approaches to demonstrate that TPD1 (TAPETUM DETERMINANT1) is a small secreted cysteine-rich protein ligand that interacts with the LRR (Leucine-Rich Repeat) domain of the EMS1 (EXCESS MICROSPOROCYTES1) receptor kinase at two sites. Analyses of the expressions and localizations of TPD1 and EMS1, ectopic expression of TPD1, experimental missorting of TPD1, and ablation of microsporocytes yielded results suggesting that the precursors of microsporocyte/microsporocyte-derived TPD1 and pre-tapetal-cell-localized EMS1 initially promote the periclinal division of secondary parietal cells and then determine one of the two daughter cells as a functional tapetal cell. Our results also indicate that tapetal cells suppress microsporocyte proliferation. Collectively, our findings show that tapetal cell differentiation requires reproductive-cell-secreted TPD1, illuminating a novel mechanism whereby signals from reproductive cells determine somatic cell fate in plant sexual reproduction.

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<![CDATA[Molecular Phylogeny and Morphological Analysis Support a New Species and New Synonymy in Iranian Astragalus (Leguminosae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da99ab0ee8fa60ba3211

As a result of a taxonomic and phylogenetic revision of Astragalus section Hymenostegis we identified a new species of Astragalus from northwestern Iran, namely A. remotispicatus spec. nov., which is described and illustrated here. It is morphologically similar to A. karl-heinzii in possessing a lax inflorescence. Phylogenetic inference of the nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region support A. remotispicatus as a clearly distinct species within the lax-inflorescence group of this section. Also the placement of A. sciureus var. subsessilis was found to be wrong and this taxon should be treated as a synonym within A. kohrudicus.

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<![CDATA[Dopamine- and Tyrosine Hydroxylase-Immunoreactive Neurons in the Brain of the American Cockroach, Periplaneta americana]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9fdab0ee8fa60b72b66

The catecholamine dopamine plays several vital roles in the central nervous system of many species, but its neural mechanisms remain elusive. Detailed neuroanatomical characterization of dopamine neurons is a prerequisite for elucidating dopamine’s actions in the brain. In the present study, we investigated the distribution of dopaminergic neurons in the brain of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, using two antisera: 1) an antiserum against dopamine, and 2) an antiserum against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, an enzyme required for dopamine synthesis), and identified about 250 putatively dopaminergic neurons. The patterns of dopamine- and TH-immunoreactive neurons were strikingly similar, suggesting that both antisera recognize the same sets of “dopaminergic” neurons. The dopamine and TH antibodies intensively or moderately immunolabeled prominent brain neuropils, e.g. the mushroom body (memory center), antennal lobe (first-order olfactory center) and central complex (motor coordination center). All subdivisions of the mushroom body exhibit both dopamine and TH immunoreactivity. Comparison of immunolabeled neurons with those filled by dye injection revealed that a group of immunolabeled neurons with cell bodies near the calyx projects into a distal region of the vertical lobe, which is a plausible site for olfactory memory formation in insects. In the antennal lobe, ordinary glomeruli as well as macroglomeruli exhibit both dopamine and TH immunoreactivity. It is noteworthy that the dopamine antiserum labeled tiny granular structures inside the glomeruli whereas the TH antiserum labeled processes in the marginal regions of the glomeruli, suggesting a different origin. In the central complex, all subdivisions excluding part of the noduli and protocerebral bridge exhibit both dopamine and TH immunoreactivity. These anatomical findings will accelerate our understanding of dopaminergic systems, specifically in neural circuits underlying aversive memory formation and arousal, in insects.

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<![CDATA[Plastic Responses Contribute to Explaining Altitudinal and Temporal Variation in Potential Flower Longevity in High Andean Rhodolirion montanum]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da80ab0ee8fa60b9a581

The tendency for flower longevity to increase with altitude is believed by many alpine ecologists to play an important role in compensating for low pollination rates at high altitudes due to cold and variable weather conditions. However, current studies documenting an altitudinal increase in flower longevity in the alpine habitat derive principally from studies on open-pollinated flowers where lower pollinator visitation rates at higher altitudes will tend to lead to flower senescence later in the life-span of a flower in comparison with lower altitudes, and thus could confound the real altitudinal pattern in a species´ potential flower longevity. In a two-year study we tested the hypothesis that a plastic effect of temperature on flower longevity could contribute to an altitudinal increase in potential flower longevity measured in pollinator-excluded flowers in high Andean Rhodolirium montanum Phil. (Amaryllidaceae). Using supplemental warming we investigated whether temperature around flowers plastically affects potential flower longevity. We determined tightly temperature-controlled potential flower longevity and flower height for natural populations on three alpine sites spread over an altitudinal transect from 2350 and 3075 m a.s.l. An experimental increase of 3.1°C around flowers significantly decreased flower longevity indicating a plastic response of flowers to temperature. Flower height in natural populations decreased significantly with altitude. Although temperature negatively affects flower longevity under experimental conditions, we found no evidence that temperature around flowers explains site variation in flower longevity over the altitudinal gradient. In a wetter year, despite a 3.5°C temperature difference around flowers at the extremes of the altitudinal range, flower longevity showed no increase with altitude. However, in a drier year, flower longevity increased significantly with altitude. The emerging picture suggests an increase in flower longevity along the altitudinal gradient is less common for potential flower longevity than for open-pollination flower longevity. Independently of any selection that may occur on potential longevity, plastic responses of flowers to environmental conditions are likely to contribute to altitudinal variation in flower longevity, especially in dry alpine areas. Such plastic responses could push flowers of alpine species towards shorter life-lengths under climate change, with uncertain consequences for successful pollination and plant fitness in a warming world.

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<![CDATA[High-Temperature-Induced Defects in Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Anther and Pollen Development Are Associated with Reduced Expression of B-Class Floral Patterning Genes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9dfab0ee8fa60b68e44

Sexual reproduction is a critical process in the life-cycle of plants and very sensitive to environmental perturbations. To better understand the effect of high temperature on plant reproduction, we cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants in continuous mild heat. Under this condition we observed a simultaneous reduction in pollen viability and appearance of anthers with pistil-like structures, while in a more thermotolerant genotype, both traits were improved. Ectopic expression of two pistil-specific genes, TRANSMITTING TISSUE SPECIFIC and TOMATO AGAMOUS LIKE11, in the anthers confirmed that the anthers had gained partial pistil identity. Concomitantly, expression of the B-class genes TOMATO APETALA3, TOMATO MADS BOX GENE6 (TM6) and LePISTILLATA was reduced in anthers under continuous mild heat. Plants in which TM6 was partially silenced reacted hypersensitively to temperature elevation with regard to the frequency of pistilloid anthers, pollen viability and pollen quantity. Taken together, these results suggest that high-temperature-induced down-regulation of tomato B-class genes contributes to anther deformations and reduced male fertility. Improving our understanding of how temperature perturbs the molecular mechanisms of anther and pollen development will be important in the view of maintaining agricultural output under current climate changes.

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<![CDATA[MS26/CYP704B is required for anther and pollen wall development in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and combining mutations in all three homeologs causes male sterility]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5bab0ee8fa60bdfdca

Development of anthers and pollen represents an important aspect of the life cycle in flowering plants. Genes contributing to anther and pollen development have been widely studied in many plant species. Ms26/CYP704B genes play an important role in pollen development through biosynthesis of sporopollenin for pollen exine formation. To investigate the role of Ms26/CYP704B genes in anther and pollen development of bread wheat, mutations in the A-, B-, and D-homeologs of the putative Ms26/CYP704B gene were analyzed. Single and double homozygous mutants in any of the homeologs did not affect pollen development and male fertility. Triple homozygous mutants resulted in completely male sterile plants that were defective in pollen and anther development. Additionally, double homozygous-single heterozygous mutants were also male sterile although with varying levels of residual fertility. The fertility of these triple mutants was dependent upon the homeolog contributing the wild-type allele. Two heterologous Ms26/CYP704B genes, when transformed into a triple homozygous mutant background, completely restored male fertility, whereas a single gene was unable to restore fertility. Functional analysis of Ms26/CYP704B furthers the understanding of male fertility genes which can be utilized for the development of novel hybrid seed production systems in wheat.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptomic Analysis of Differentially Expressed Genes during Flower Organ Development in Genetic Male Sterile and Male Fertile Tagetes erecta by Digital Gene-Expression Profiling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db02ab0ee8fa60bc724c

Tagetes erecta is an important commercial plant of Asteraceae family. The male sterile (MS) and male fertile (MF) two-type lines of T. erecta have been utilized in F1 hybrid production for many years, but no report has been made to identify the genes that specify its male sterility that is caused by homeotic conversion of floral organs. In this study, transcriptome assembly and digital gene expression profiling were performed to generate expression profiles of MS and MF plants. A cDNA library was generated from an equal mixture of RNA isolated from MS and MF flower buds (1 mm and 4 mm in diameter). Totally, 87,473,431 clean tags were obtained and assembled into 128,937 transcripts among which 65,857 unigenes were identified with an average length of 1,188 bp. About 52% of unigenes (34,176) were annotated in Nr, Nt, Pfam, KOG/COG, Swiss-Prot, KO (KEGG Ortholog database) and/or GO. Taking the above transcriptome as reference, 125 differentially expressed genes were detected in both developmental stages of MS and MF flower buds. MADS-box genes were presumed to be highly related to male sterility in T. erecta based on histological and cytological observations. Twelve MADS-box genes showed significantly different expression levels in flower buds 4 mm in diameter, whereas only one gene expressed significantly different in flower buds 1 mm in diameter between MS and MF plants. This is the first transcriptome analysis in T. erecta and will provide a valuable resource for future genomic studies, especially in flower organ development and/or differentiation.

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<![CDATA[Beetle pollination and flowering rhythm of Annona coriacea Mart. (Annonaceae) in Brazilian cerrado: Behavioral features of its principal pollinators]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc207

The conservation and sustainable management of Annona coriacea requires knowledge of its floral and reproductive biology, and of its main pollinators and their life cycles. In this work, we analyzed these aspects in detail. Floral biology was assessed by observing flowers from the beginning of anthesis to senescence. The visiting hours and behavior of floral visitors in the floral chamber were recorded, as were the sites of oviposition. Excavations were undertaken around specimens of A. coriacea to determine the location of immature pollinators. Anthesis was nocturnal, starting at sunset, and lasted for 52–56 h. The flowers were bisexual, protogynous and emitted a strong scent similar to the plant´s own ripe fruit. There was pronounced synchrony among all floral events (the period and duration of stigmatic receptivity, release of odor, pollen release and drooping flowers) in different individuals, but no synchrony in the same individuals. All of the flowers monitored were visited by beetle species of the genera Cyclocephala and Arriguttia. Beetles arrived at the flowers with their bodies covered in pollen and these pollen grains were transferred to the stigmata while foraging on nutritious tissues at the base of the petals. With dehiscence of the stamens and retention within the floral chamber, the bodies of the floral visitors were again covered with pollen which they carried to newly opened flowers, thus promoting the cycle of pollination. After leaving the flowers, female beetles often excavated holes in the soil to lay eggs. Larvae were found between the leaf litter and the first layer of soil under specimens of A. coriacea. Cyclocephala beetles were the main pollinators of A. coriacea, but Arriguttia brevissima was also considered a pollinator and is the first species of this genus to be observed in Annonaceae flowers. Annona coriacea was found to be self-compatible with a low reproductive efficiency in the area studied. The results of this investigation provide ecological data that should contribute to the conservation and economic exploitation of A. coriacea.

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<![CDATA[Genome-Wide Association Mapping of Anther Extrusion in Hexaploid Spring Wheat]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da69ab0ee8fa60b92939

In a number of crop species hybrids are able to outperform line varieties. The anthers of the autogamous bread wheat plant are normally extruded post anthesis, a trait which is unfavourable for the production of F1 hybrid grain. Higher anther extrusion (AE) promotes cross fertilization for more efficient hybrid seed production. Therefore, this study aimed at the genetic dissection of AE by genome wide association studies (GWAS) and determination of the main effect QTL. We applied GWAS approach to identify DArT markers potentially linked to AE to unfold its genetic basis in a panel of spring wheat accessions. Phenotypic data were collected for three years and best linear unbiased estimate (BLUE) values were calculated across all years. The extent of the AE correlation between growing years and BLUE values ranged from r = +0.56 (2013 vs 2015) to 0.91 (2014 vs BLUE values). The broad sense heritability was 0.84 across all years. Six accessions displayed stable AE >80% across all the years. Genotyping data included 2,575 DArT markers (with minimum of 0.05 minor allele frequency applied). AE was influenced both by genotype and by the growing environment. In all, 131 significant marker trait associations (MTAs) (|log10 (P)| >FDR) were established for AE. AE behaved as a quantitative trait, with five consistently significant markers (significant across at least two years with a significant BLUE value) contributing a minor to modest proportion (4.29% to 8.61%) of the phenotypic variance and affecting the trait either positively or negatively. For this reason, there is potential for breeding for improved AE by gene pyramiding. The consistently significant markers linked to AE could be helpful for marker assisted selection to transfer AE to high yielding varieties allowing to promote the exploitation of hybrid-heterosis in the key crop wheat.

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<![CDATA[Is floral structure a reliable indicator of breeding system in the Brassicaceae?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbf70

This study investigated the usefulness of floral characters as a potential indicator of breeding system in the Brassicaceae. Initially, pod set, seed set and pollen tube growth experiments were carried out to confirm the breeding systems of 53 lines representing 25 different cultivated and weedy species from the Brassicaceae. The results of the pod set tests clearly differentiated between self-compatible and self-incompatible species. Floral characters were then evaluated on one or more lines of each of the 25 species. Fourteen floral characters were evaluated including, flower diameter, Cruden’s outcrossing index, timing and direction of dehiscence and pollen-ovule ratio. Significant differences between species were evident in all of the floral characteristics evaluated. Flower diameter was generally larger in self-incompatible species than self-compatible species and pollen/ovule ratio was generally higher in self-incompatible species than self-compatible species. However, none of the floral characteristics was able to clearly differentiate the self-compatible and self-incompatible species and allow prediction of the breeding system with absolute confidence. The floral characteristic which was most effective at differentiating the two groups was anther direction at dehiscence.

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